Sunday, November 13, 2011

Jute and Raffia Pumpkins

I saw a picture a couple of weeks ago of a jute (at least, I think it was jute, it was a quick glance) pumpkin. 
I gasped.  :)  We've created like this with yarn at different times, but I hadn't considered pumpkins!
And while we're at it, let's see if raffia will work!

(Note: I have no idea where I first saw it, I am sorry to say. Can't find it.  If you see one, I'd be happy to go see if it's the photo I saw, and give proper credit.)

I'm happy to say that raffia works.

We, Maddie and I, blew up balloons to the size we thought we wanted.

I wanted a stem, and I opted to  make a tube out of paper, then covered it in wax paper so it wouldn't stick when it dried.

I watered down some Elmer's regular white glue (about half and half), and then I cut a long piece of jute, and pushed the whole thing in my bowl of glue.

I wrapped it around the balloon, willy-nilly, cutting more jute when I needed it.

We used bowls to keep them standing upright for us as we worked.

I didn't really strain the excess glue off my strand, and it showed up later on my dried pumpkin.  So if you don't want to clean up clear glue off your jute, maybe be more careful to pull your jute between your fingers to wring out the excess glue before you wrap it around your balloon. 

For Maddie's raffia, we just put a handful of raffia in the glue bowl, then pulled it out a bit at a time, wrapping and winding it around the balloon.

We left them to dry overnight.

You may want to check them at 12 or 18 hours to see how dry they are, so you can pop your balloon and shape them the way you'd like.  Just squish them down to flatten (and reshape the yarn if some spots are still wet, and folded in when the balloon was deflated).
Note:  Ours were still pretty soft the next morning, so I put them in front of a heat vent... the next time I thought of them, a couple of hours later, they were very, very dry!  (Woops.)  I popped the balloons, peeled them out of there, then wet the bottoms of my pumpkins in saucers of water for a few minutes to soften them for shaping.  It worked.

Let them finish drying.

Though I like them very well as they are (and would be especially lovely with lots of really small ones surrounding them) I wanted to add some pretties.

I just cut a piece of wire (any kind of wire will work), bent it in a circle to the size or my pumpkin's crown, and hot glued dried flowers, pods, rosehips, corn, acorns, dock, and preserved leaves to the wire.

Then I set the crown on the pumpkin.

Very pretty for a Thanksgiving table, hmm?


  1. Oh, they're lovely! I've seen this type of idea for easter eggs, but hadn't thought of it for pumpkins. Brilliant!

  2. These are so lovely. Nicely done. <3

  3. Love them! I had a very creative weekend around here too. Doesn't it feel SO good?

  4. They are truly gorgeous, Steph! Love the idea of jute.

    I made a bird's nest out of jute or hemp or somethin' like that a few years back and loved the way it looked...but these pumpkins are super cute for autumn!

  5. This is on my project list- love it.

  6. What a fun idea, I just bought a spool of twine for another project, I will have to give this craft a try!

  7. How fun!! I would love it if you would share at my Sharing Saturday party at Thank you!


Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!